When a beloved pet dog passes, it can be a stressful and upsetting time for pet owners. While this is an extremely difficult situation, it is something that we have to accept as we will have to face it soon. To help you handle a difficult situation like this, here’s a discussion on how you can handle a home burial for your pet dog. A home burial is something that you can do if you have space in your backyard or garden and if it is legal in your state. Here are some of the things that you need to think about if you’re considering a home burial for your passed dog. 

Should You Choose a Burial or Cremation?

Pet home burial is mostly preferred by pet owners as it is personal, private, intimate, and does not cost much. All you need to do is make sure that you have enough space in your garden. Pet cremations have become popular over the years, but this option is not for everyone. There are different types of cremation, which are individual and communal cremation, with the latter more commonly done, but you will be informed if the cremation of your pet is communal or not. 

One concern that pet owners have is whether or not the ashes that they receive actually belong to their pet. The unfortunate reality is that pet cremation is not entirely regulated, so one cannot be so sure. Because of this, a home burial is the safest option for you. 

Some of the questions that you might have about pet burials include the following:

  • Are you allowed to bury your pet at home?
  • Is it legal to do so?
  • How to check if your pet dog has passed away?
  • How do you prepare its body for burial?
  • Can you bury it in a small box or a coffin?
  • Which part of your backyard can you choose for its gravesite?
  • How deep should your pet’s grave be? 

Am I Allowed to Bury My Pet At Home?

It is legal in most states to bury your pet that passed away in your backyard as long as you have the space. While it is legal in most states, there are laws, rules, and regulations that each state follows. Each city follows different rules for pet burials, so make sure to consult your veterinarian about the rules and regulations that you must observe. 

Most states allow homeowners to hold a home burial as long as the pet does not have any infectious disease and is buried away from a water source. It should be at least buried two to three feet below the ground. Make sure to inquire with your veterinarian if your state allows you to hold a home burial. 

What Do I Do If Your Pet Dog Dies at Home?

If you are at home with a dying pet dog, it is not immediately evident that they have passed away. If you are at the vet’s clinic, they can check and listen for your pet’s heartbeat using a stethoscope and see if it still breathing. However, if you are at home, what do you do? 

Check if your pet dog has passed away 

While this is a difficult time for you, you must be sure that your pet already passed away before you decide to bury or cremate its body. Sometimes it is easy to make a mistake, although it rarely happens. If you want to be sure, here are some of the signs of death below.

  • Check for a pulse or heartbeat – You can check the pulse of your pet by placing your two fingers lightly on the chest of your pet. It is the area between or behind the front legs or inside the back legs where the hind legs join the body.
  • Check for breathing – Watch and listen for signs of breathing. You can check the color of the gums. If your pet dog is still alive, then you can expect the color of the gums to be pink. When the body of the pet becomes stiff, this means rigor mortis has finally occurred, and it is a sign of death.

Do not be scared of making sure that your pet is already dead. You can even ask for your veterinarian’s expertise. Make sure to check it or ask for help if you are not sure what to do. 

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How to Prepare Your Pet Dog’s Body After It Passes

Once you have made sure that your pet has passed away, you must get a plastic sheet or a waterproof bag to place it inside. This is important as the bodily fluids can come out of your pet’s body after it passed away, especially when it is being moved or handled. You can also place a small blanket or towel to cover it. You can lay your pet dog’s body on its side, curled up as if it is sleeping. It will look pleasant and make it easy to handle when you need to place it on its grave. 

When your pet dog dies, its eyes might stay open. It is a natural occurrence as all the muscles in its body have become relaxed when it passes, so do not be afraid. If you have other pet dogs you need to let them see the dog that has recently passed, as dogs can become confused or stressed when one of their pack is suddenly gone. 

Letting them see that their friend will help them understand that one of their pack members has passed away instead of leaving them wondering where they went. You can let them see and smell its body and allow them to spend time as much as they need.

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When Should You Bury Your Pet Dog?

You need to wait for at least two to three hours after passing so that you can check for permanent signs of death. If rigor mortis has set in, then this means you can proceed with the burial. If the burial cannot happen as soon as possible, you can ask your veterinarian if you can place your pet dog in their mortuary refrigerator. If there is no space or you just need to wait for a short while, you can place your pet dog in a cool dark basement just so that it will not hasten the decomposition process. You can keep it there overnight but just make sure that it is not too hot or humid. 

How to Dig a Grave For a Pet Dog That Has Passed

You need to choose your pet’s gravesite carefully. One option to consider is the spot in the yard where they loved spending time while they were still alive. Avoid a spot that could potentially be excavated in the future. Do not choose flower beds unless you have planned to plant a tree, shrub, or bush or place a pet memorial stone on it. Not only that, but you should avoid choosing a gravesite that gets easily flooded when it rains. If you have water sources nearby, avoid placing the gravesite near it. Think about the layout of your home and avoid any underground wires, cables, or pipes when digging the grave. 

Before digging a grave for your dog, you need to measure around it to get the exact size of the grave you need to dig, which includes the length, height, and width of the site. The depth of the grave must be at least three to four feet deep. The reasons behind this consideration are for health reasons, to avoid any scavengers or other animals digging up the gravesite, and to prevent the rain from washing out the soil, which can uncover the grave. 

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What Should You Use For Your Dog’s Coffin?

You can choose to bury your pet dog in a breathable or biodegradable material like a towel, cloth, their favorite blanket, or a makeshift coffin made from wood or cardboard. Do use a coffin made from plastic, metal, or something with an airtight seal. Avoid using a non-biodegradable plastic bag to bury your pet dog. 

Once you placed your pet dog inside the grave, you can cover it with soil. You can allow the whole family and even some close friends to join the burial ceremony. Feel free to say a few words, sing a song, recite a poem, or place flowers and letters, or their favorite toy on the top of the grave. This will allow you to slowly heal from the loss of your beloved pet dog. 

One excellent option to consider is a grave marker on your pet dog’s gravesite. You can plant a bush or shrub or place a pet memorial stone. If you need a pet memorial stone, you can visit Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial. If you want to place an order, you visit our shop here. You can contact us by filling up this contact form hereYou can check out our design catalog here. If you are not sure whether to order from us, you can be assured by reading our client’s testimonials here. If you want to have an idea how our pet memorial stones look like, you can check them out on our gallery

We provide pet memorial stones, pet garden stones, and personalized pet gifts that honor your pet that passed away. There are plenty of different designs to choose from, or you can customize your order according to your preference or specifications. We only use natural river stones to create a pet memorial stone that you can treasure forever.

If you want to inquire or if you have questions about our products and services please contact us. You can call us at 208-253-4557, our toll-free number is 1-866-276-2548, or send us an email at [email protected]. Contact us today so we can help you memorialize and honor your beloved pet that passed away.